A lighthearted Mission Impossible for feisty senior citizens bent on social justice.


When a group of senior citizens retrofits a garbage truck to siphon millions out of a major Swedish bank, the authorities are left clueless: The League of Pensioners strikes again!

Martha and her retired friends return in this, Ingelman-Sundberg’s (The Little Old Lady Who Struck Lucky Again, 2017, etc.) third installment in the League of Pensioners series. Martha, Brains, Anna-Greta, Christina, and Rake continue scheming to raise funds to distribute to the hardworking poor and to build their dream village for retired folk. Of course, their fundraising methods remain illegal, but it's hard to blame them for targeting ageist, exorbitantly wealthy, tax-evading criminals. In addition to (somewhat smelly) millions of kroner, they have collected diamonds, jewelry, and gold bars. Eager to distribute the money to the underpaid and underappreciated, the gang opens a restaurant on a barge. Patrons are encouraged to sit at the singles table to play a dating app designed by Anna-Greta. Whether or not they find a love match, everyone leaves with a parting gift: cash. The cost of doing business, however, is outwitting local gangsters, Russian oligarchs, and Blomberg, the retired police detective who failed to nab the pensioners in Ingelman-Sundberg’s first two books. The oldsters are spry—practicing yoga and gymnastics—and sly—eluding villains at every turn with Anna-Greta's crack computer skills, Brains’ inventions, and Martha's savvy acting chops. The escapades escalate quickly to riskier, more profitable hijinks. Extortion in Sweden, stolen luxury yachts in San Tropez, money laundering in the Cayman Islands: Ingelman-Sundberg keeps the pace fast with just enough suspense—can the gang pull off this caper, too?—to make each success exhilarating. So it's easy to sympathize with Martha's burgeoning career as Miss Marple's spry, scheming, Swedish cousin. Poor Brains may never tie her down in matrimony.

A lighthearted Mission Impossible for feisty senior citizens bent on social justice.

Pub Date: June 26, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-269233-7

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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Dated sermonizing on career versus motherhood, and conflict driven by characters’ willed helplessness, sap this tale of...


Lifelong, conflicted friendship of two women is the premise of Hannah’s maudlin latest (Magic Hour, 2006, etc.), again set in Washington State.

Tallulah “Tully” Hart, father unknown, is the daughter of a hippie, Cloud, who makes only intermittent appearances in her life. Tully takes refuge with the family of her “best friend forever,” Kate Mularkey, who compares herself unfavorably with Tully, in regards to looks and charisma. In college, “TullyandKate” pledge the same sorority and major in communications. Tully has a life goal for them both: They will become network TV anchorwomen. Tully lands an internship at KCPO-TV in Seattle and finagles a producing job for Kate. Kate no longer wishes to follow Tully into broadcasting and is more drawn to fiction writing, but she hesitates to tell her overbearing friend. Meanwhile a love triangle blooms at KCPO: Hard-bitten, irresistibly handsome, former war correspondent Johnny is clearly smitten with Tully. Expecting rejection, Kate keeps her infatuation with Johnny secret. When Tully lands a reporting job with a Today-like show, her career shifts into hyperdrive. Johnny and Kate had started an affair once Tully moved to Manhattan, and when Kate gets pregnant with daughter Marah, they marry. Kate is content as a stay-at-home mom, but frets about being Johnny’s second choice and about her unrealized writing ambitions. Tully becomes Seattle’s answer to Oprah. She hires Johnny, which spells riches for him and Kate. But Kate’s buttons are fully depressed by pitched battles over slutwear and curfews with teenaged Marah, who idolizes her godmother Tully. In an improbable twist, Tully invites Kate and Marah to resolve their differences on her show, only to blindside Kate by accusing her, on live TV, of overprotecting Marah. The BFFs are sundered. Tully’s latest attempt to salvage Cloud fails: The incorrigible, now geriatric hippie absconds once more. Just as Kate develops a spine, she’s given some devastating news. Will the friends reconcile before it’s too late?

Dated sermonizing on career versus motherhood, and conflict driven by characters’ willed helplessness, sap this tale of poignancy.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-312-36408-3

Page Count: 496

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2007

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